Cats in Australia
This article needs to be updated.January 2016)(
Cats are kept as pets in Australia and are also one of the major invasive species that are causing detrimental effects to indigenous wildlife due to predation. For biosecurity reasons, any cats that are imported into Australia must meet conditions set by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. An estimated 2.7 million domestic cats and between 2.1 and 6.3 million feral cats are now found in Australia.
Historical records date the introduction of cats to Australia at around 1804 and that cats first became feral around Sydney by 1820. In the early 1900s, concern was expressed at the pervasiveness of the cat problem 
Feral cats are one of the major invasive species in Australia and have been linked to the decline and extinction of various native animals. They have been shown to cause a significant impact on ground-nesting birds and small native mammals. Feral cats have also hampered any attempts to reintroduce threatened species back into areas where they have become extinct, as the cats have simply hunted and killed the newly released animals. Numerous Australian environmentalists claim the feral cat has been an ecological disaster in Australia, inhabiting most ecosystems except dense rainforest, and being implicated in the extinction of several marsupial and placental mammal species. Some inhabitants have begun eating cat meat to mitigate the harm that wild cats do to the local wildlife.
A field experiment conducted in Heirisson Prong (Western Australia) compared small mammal populations in areas cleared of both foxes and cats, of foxes only, and a control plot. Researchers found the first solid evidence that predation by feral cats can cause a decline in native mammals. It also indicates that cat predation is especially severe when fox numbers have been reduced. Cats may play a role in Australia's altered ecosystems; with foxes they may be controlling introduced rabbits, particularly in arid areas, which themselves cause ecological damage. Cats are believed to have been a factor in the extinction of the only mainland bird species to be lost since European settlement, the paradise parrot. Cats in Australia have no natural predators except dingoes and wedge-tailed eagles, and as a result, they are apex predators where neither the dingo nor the eagle exists.
Australian folklore holds that some feral cats in Australia have grown so large as to cause inexperienced observers to claim sightings of other species such as cougars. This folklore is being shown to be more fact than fiction, with the shooting in 2005 of an enormous feline, in the Gippsland area of Victoria. Subsequent DNA test showed it to be a feral cat.
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